Lingerie Boutiques In Paris — Popular As The Baguette

There are a few things you will quickly notice about Paris:  a boulangerie on just about every block, a pharmacy on every other block, and upscale lingerie boutiques displaying their seductive wares as commonly as a baguette.  Unlike Victoria’s Secret, which appeals as strongly to men clientele as women, the lingerie boutiques are decidedly for women.  Indeed, men rarely step into these boutiques, and are usually shoved out the door given they simply have no clue what to buy.  And while Valentine’s Day may create some churn in business, let’s face it — these shops are busy all year round.  Now with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, visiting Paris and these boutiques you will also see where the book and film got their inspiration. Read More »

Valentine’s Day in Paris

IMGP0527.JPGParis will always be a city synonymous with love, for most of us it’s the first place we come to when thinking of the perfect destination for a romantic break. This does mean however that many other couples will have the same idea of visiting The City of Light over the 14th February, so it’s important to plan ahead. If you are flying into Paris, certain airlines, like Air France may offer special deals on airfares over the Valentine’s weekend to encourage visitors, but do make sure you shop around for the best deal.

Once there an abundance of romantic things to do lie at your fingertips, here are some of the best to help you plan that perfect Valentine’s Day in Paris. Read More »

Wild Mushrooms In Paris

IMGP1835.JPGMushroom season is on the tail end, but still worthwhile to sort out special deals in restaurants (truffles, cepes, girolles) and markets.   The  marchés have mounds of fresh mushrooms for sale.  The best ones are girolles (what Americans call chantrelles) and cepes — big, meaty mushrooms the size of baseballs.  As Paris gets back to its rhythm, going to the marches may itself be an act of defiance but moreover, a necessary way to enjoy life as the French do so well — and buy a half kilo of cepes. Read More »

Paris Winter Sale (Soldes)

soldesParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  The winter sale is in full swing through February 20, with many stores now in their second and third markdown.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

Galette des Rois (King’s Cake)

Galette des Roi.JPGJust when you think New Year festivities are at an end, La Fête des Rois starts on the Epiphany holiday, which falls on the first Sunday in January.  This is a great holiday, where bakeries in France and throughout Paris make a round almond pastry cake that families buy to share, and celebrate a holiday where anyone can be king or queen for a day.  A ’fève’ (originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic or enamel trinket) is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever bites into the almond crusty cake and finds the fève (just be careful not to break your tooth!) is crowned king or queen for the day.  It is not too late to get your galette to be king for a day! Read More »

New Year’s In Paris

IMGP0555.JPGIf you are lucky enough to be in Paris for New Year’s, the difficulty is not finding out what to do but narrowing your choice of where to go. Notably, the metro is free until New Year’s early morning.   There is just too much to choose from, as the city stays up all night to welcome the New Year.  Places to go on New Year’s include: Read More »